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With slow, faint steps, and much exceeding pain,
Have scrambled past those pits of fire, that still
Sing in mine ears. But yield not me the praise :
God only thro' his bounty hath thought fit,
Among the powers and princes of this world,
To make me an example to mankind,
Which few can reach to. Yet I do not say
But that a time may come-yea, even now,
Now, now, his footsteps smite the threshold stairs
of life-I say, that time is at the doors
When you may worship me without reproach ;
Por I will leave my relics in your land,
And you may carve a shrine about my dust,
And burn a fragrant lamp before my bones,
When I am gather'd to the glorious saints.

While I spake then, a sting of shrewdest pain
Ran shrivelling thro' me, and a cloud-like chauge,
In passing, with a grosser film made thick
These heavy, horny eyes. The end! the end !
Surely the end! What's here? a shape, a shade,
A flash of light. Is that the angel there
That holds a crown? Come, blessed brother, come,
I know thy glittering face. I waited long;
My brows are ready. What! deny it now?
Nay, draw, draw, draw nigh. So I clutch it. Christ !
'Tis gone: 'tis here again: the crown! the crown !
So now 'tis fitted on and grows to me.
And from it melt the dews of Paradise,
Sweet ! sweet! spikenard, and balm, and frankin-

cense. Ah! let me not be fool'd, sweet saints: I trust That I am whole, and clean, and meet for Heaven.

Speak, if there be a priest, a man of God,
Among you there, and let him presently
Approach, and lean a ladder on the shaft,
And climbing up into my airy home,
Deliver me the blessed sacrament;
For by the warning of the Holy Ghost,
I prophesy that I shall die to-night,
A quarter before twelve.

But thou, O Lord,
Aid all this foolish people; let them take
Example, pattern: lead them to thy light.

'Twere well to question him, and try

If yet he keeps the power.
Hail, hidden to the knees in fern,

Broad Oak of Sumner-chace,
Whose topmost branches can discern

The roofs of Sumner-place!
Say thou, whereon I carved her name,

If ever maid or spouse,
As fair as my Olivia, came

To rest beneath thy boughs.-
"O Walter, I have sbelter'd here

Whatever maiden grace
The good old Summers, year by year,

Made ripe in Sumner-chace: “Old Summers, when the monk was fat,

Aud, issuing shorn and sleek, Would twist his girdle tight, and pat

The girls upon the cheek,

“Ere yet, in scorn-of Peter's-pence,

And number'd bead and shrift, Bluff Harry broke into the spence,

And turn'd the covls adrift:

“And I have seen some score of those

Fresh faces that would thrive When his man-minded offset rose

To chase the deer at five;

“And all that from the town would stroll,

Till that wild wind made work In which the gloomy brewer's soul

Went by me, like a stork:

“The slight she-slips of loyal blood,

And others, passing praise, Strait-laced, but all-too-full in bud

For puritanic stays:

"And I have shadow'd many a group

of beauties that were born In teacup-times of hood and hoop,

Or while the patch was worn ;

THE TALKING OAK. ONCE more the gate behind me falls;

Once more before my face
I see the moulder'd Abbey-walls,

That stand within the chace.

And, leg and arm with love-knots gay,

About me leap'd and laugh'd The modish Cupid of the day,

And shrill'd his tinsel shaft.

“I swear (and else may insects prick

Each leaf into a gall) This girl, for whom your heart is sick,

Is three times worth them all; “For those and theirs, by Nature's law,

Have faded long ago;
But in these latter springs I saw

Your own Olivia blow,

Beyond the lodge the city lies,

Beneath its drift of smoke ;
And ah! with what delighted eyes

I turn to yonder oak.
For when my passion first began,

Ere that, which in me burn'd,
The love, that makes me thrice a man,

Could hope itself return'd;
To yonder oak within the field

I spoke without restraint,
And with a larger faith appeal'd

Than Papist unto Saint.
For oft I talk'd with him apart,

And told him of my choice,
Until he plagiarized a heart,

And answer'd with a voice. Tho' what he whisper'd, under Heaven

None else could understand;
I found him garrulously given,

A babbler in the land.
But since I heard him make reply

Is many a weary hour;

“From when she gamboll'd on the greets,

A baby-germ, to when
The maiden blossoms of her teens

Could number five from ten.
“I swear, by leaf, and wind, and rain,

(And hear me with thine ears,) That, tho' I circle in the grain

Five hundred rings of years

“Yet, since I first could cast a shade,

Did never creature pass So slightly, musically made,

So light upon the grass :

"For as to fairies, that will flit

To make the greensward fresh,

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The murmurs of the drum and fife,

And lull'd them iu my own.

Nor ever lightning char thy grain,

But, rolling as in sleep, Low thunders bring the mellow rain,

That makes thee broad and deep!

“Sometimes I let a sunbeam slip,

To light her shaded eye; A second flutter'd round her lip

Like a golden butterfly;

And hear me swear a solemn oath,

That only by thy side
Will I to Olive plight my troth,

And gain her for my bride.

“A third wonld glimmer ou her neck

To make the necklace shine; Another slid, a sunny fleck,

From head to ankle tine.

* Then close and dark my arms I spread,

And shadow'd all her rest
Dropt dews upon her golden head,

An acorn in her breast.

" But in a pet she started up,

And pluck'd it out, and drew My little oakling from the cup,

And flung him in the dew.

And when my marriage morn may fall,

She, Dryad-like, shall wear Alternate leaf and acorn-ball

In wreath about her hair. And I will work in prose and rhyme,

And praise thee more in both
Than bard has honor'd beech or lime,

Or that Thessalian growth,
In which the swarthy ringdoves sat,

And mystic sentence spoke ;
And more than England honors that,

Thy famous brother-oak,
Wherein the younger Charles abode

Till all the paths were dim,
And far below the Roundhead rode,

And bumm'd a surly hymn.

“And yet it was a graceful gift

I felt a pang within As when I see the woodman lift

His axe to slay my kin.

"I shook him down because he was

The finest on the tree.
He lies beside thee on the grass.

O kiss him once for me.

"O kiss him twice and thrice for me,

That have no lips to kiss, For never yet was oak on lea

Shall grow so fair as this."

Step deeper yet in herb and fern,

Look further thro' the chace, Spread upward till thy boughs discern

The front of Sumner-place.

This fruit of thine by Love is blest,

That but a moment lay Where fairer fruit of Love may rest

Some happy future day.

I kiss it twice, I kiss it thrice,

The warmth it thence shall win To riper life may magnetize

The baby-oak within.

But thou, while kingdoms overset

Or lapse from hand to hand, Thy leaf shall never fail, nor yet

Thine acorn in the land.

LOVE AND DUTY.
Or love that never found his earthly close,
What sequel ? Streaming eyes and breaking hearts:
Or all the same as if he had not been ?
Not so.

Shall Error in the round of time
Still father Truth! O shall the braggart shout
For some blind glimpse of freedom work itself
Thro' madness, hated by the wise, to law
System and empire? Sin itself be found
The cloudy porch oft opening on the Sun ?
And only he, this wonder, dead, become
Mere highway dust ! or year by year alone
Sit brooding in the ruins of a life,
Nightmare of youth, the spectre of himself!

If this were thus, if this, indeed, were all,
Better the narrow brain, the stony heart,
The staring eye glazed o'er with sapless days,
The long mechanic pacings to and fro,
The set gray life, and apathetic end.
But am I not the nobler thro' thy love?
O three times less unworthy! likewise thou
Art more thro' Love, and greater than thy years.
The Sun will run his orbit, and the Moon
Her circle. Wait, and Love himself will bring
The drooping flower of knowledge changed to frui;
Of wisdom. Wait: my faith is large in Time,
And that which shapes it to some perfect end.

Will some one say, then why not ill for good
Why took ye not your pastime? To that man
My work shall answer, since I knew the right
And did it: for a man is not as God,
But then most Godlike being most a man.

-So let me think 't is well for thee and me-
Ill-fated that I am, what lot is mine
Whose foresight preaches peace, my heart so slow
To feel it! For how hard it seem'd to me,
When eyes, love-languid thro' half-tears, would dwei
One earnest, earnest moment upon mine,
Then not to dare to see! when thy low voice,
Faltering, would break its syllables, to keep
My own full-tuned, -hold passion in a leash,
And not leap forth and fall about thy neck,
And on thy bosom, (deep-desired relief !)
Rain out the heavy mist of tears, that weigh'd
Upon my brain, my senses, and my soui !

May never saw dismember thee,

Nor wielded axe disjoint, That art the fairest-spoken tree

From here to Lizard-point.

O rock upon thy towery top

All throats that gurgle sweet! All starry culmination drop

Balm-dews to bathe thy feet !

All grass of silky feather grow

And while he sinks or swells 'The full south-breeze around thee blow

The sound of minster bells.

The fat earth feed thy branchy root,

That under deeply strikes ! The northern morning o'er thee shoot,

High up, in silver spikes !

For Love himself took part against himself That float about the threshold of an age, To warn us off, and Duty loved of Love

Like truths of Science waiting to be caughtO this world's curse,-beloved but hated-came Catch me who can, and make the catcher crown'd Like Death betwixt thy dear embrace and mine, Are taken by the forelock. Let it be. And crying, Who is this ? behold thy bride," But if you care indeed to listen, hear She push'd me from thee.

These measured words, my work of yestermorn. If the sense is hard

“We sleep and wake and sleep, but all things To alien ears, I did not speak to these

move: No, not to thee, but to myself in thee :

The Sun flies forward to his brother Sun; Hard is my doom and thine: thou knowest it all. The dark Earth follows wheel'd in her ellipse ;

Could Love part thus ? was it not well to speak, And human things returning on themselves To have spoken once? It could not but be well. Move onward, leading up the golden year. The slow sweet hours that bring us all things good, “Ah, tho' the times, when some new thought can The slow sad hours that bring us all things ill,

bud, And all good things from evil, brought the night Are but as poets' seasons when they flower, In which we sat together and alone,

Yet seas, that daily gain upon the shore, And to the want, that hollow'd all the heart, Have ebb and flow conditioning their march, Gave utterance by the yearning of an eye,

And slow and sure comes up the golden year. That burn'd upon its object thro' such tears

“When wealth no more shall rest in mounded As flow but once a life.

heaps, The trance gave way But smit with freör light shall slowly melt To those caresses, when a hundred times

In many streams to fatten lower lands, In that last kiss, which never was the last,

And light shall spread, and man be liker man Farewell, like endless welcome, lived and died. Thro' all the season of the golden year. Then follow'd counsel, comfort, and the words

“Shall eagles not be eagles ? wrens be wrens ? That make a man feel strong in speaking truth ; If all the world were falcons, what of that? Till now the dark was worn, and overhead

The wonder of the eagle were the less, T'he lights of sunset and of sunrise mix'd

But he not less the eagle. Happy days In that brief night; the summer night, that paused Roll onward, leading up the golden year. Among her stars to hear us; stars that hung

"Fly, happy happy sails and bear the Press; Love-charm'd to listen : all the wheels of Time Fly, happy with the mission of the Cross; Spon round in station, but the end had come. Knit land to land, and blowing havenward

O then like those, who clench their nerves to rush With silks, and fruits, and spices, clear of toll, Upon their dissolution, we two rose,

Enrich the markets of the golden year. There-closing like an individual life

"But we grow old. Ah! when shall all men's In one blind cry of passion and of pain,

good Like bitter accusation ev'n to death,

Be each man's rule, and universal Peace Caught up the whole of love and utter'd it,

Lie like a shaft of light across the land,
And bade adieu forever.

And like a lane of beams athwart the sea,
Live-yet live-

Thro' all the circle of the golden year!"
Shall sharpest pathos blight us, knowing all

Thus far he flowed, and ended; whereapon Life needs for life is possible to will

“Ah, folly !" in mimic cadence answer'd JamesLive happy; tend thy flowers; be tended by “Ah, folly! for it lies so far away, My blessing! Should my Shadow cross thy thoughts Not in our time, nor in our children's time, Too sadly for their peace, remand it thou

'T is like the second world to us that live; For calmer hours to Memory's darkest hold, 'T were all as one to fix our hopes on Heaven If not to be forgotten—not at once

As on this vision of the golden year.” Not all forgotten. Should it cross thy dreams, With that he struck his staff against the rocks O might it come like one that looks content, And broke it, -James,-you know him,-old, but full With quiet eyes unfaithful to the truth,

or force and choler, and firm upon his feet, And point thee forward to a distant light,

And like an oaken stock in winter woods,
Or seem to lift a burthen from thy heart

O'erflourish'd with the hoary clematis :
And leave thee freër, till thou wake refresh'd, Then added, all in heat:
Then when the low matin-chirp hath grown

" What stuff is this!
Full choir, and morning driv'n her plough of pearl Old writers push'd the happy reason back,-
Far forrowing into light the mounded rack, The more fools they, -we forward: dreamers both:
Beyond the fair green field and eastern sea.

You most, that in an age, when every hour
Must sweat, her sixty minutes to the death,
Live on, God love us, as if the seedsman, rapt

Upon the teeming harvest, should not dip
THE GOLDEN YEAR.

His hand into the bag: but well I know

That unto him who works, and feels he works, Well, you shall have that song which Leonard This same grand year is ever at the doors." wrote:

He spoke ; and, high above, I heard them blast It pas last summer on a tour in Wales :

The steep slate-quarry, and the great echo flap Od James was with me: we that day had been

And buffet round the hills from bluff to bluff.
Up Snowdon; and I wish'd for Leonard there,
And found him in Llamberis: then we crost
Between the lakes, and clamber'd half way ap
The counter side ; and that same song of his

ULYSSES.
He told me ; for I banter'd him, and swore
They said he lived shut up within himself,

It little profits that an idle king,
A tongue-tied Poet in the feverous days,

By this still hearth, among these barren crags, That, setting the how much before the how,

Match'd with an aged wife, I mete and dole
Cry, like the daughters of the horse-leech, “Give, Unequal laws unto a savage race,
Cram us with all,” but count not me the herd ! That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me

To which “They call me what they will," he said : I cannot rest from travel: I will drink
** But I was born too late : the fair new forms, Life to the lees: all times I have enjoy'd

Greatly, have suffer'd greatly, both with those In offices of tenderness, and pay
That loved me, and alone ; on shore, and when Meet adoration to my household gods,
Thro’ scudding drifts the rainy Hyades

When I am gone. He works his work, I mine. Vext the dim sea: I am become a name;

There lies the port: the vessel puffs her sail: For always roaming with a hungry heart

There gloom the dark broad seas. My mariners, Much have I seen and known; cities of men Souls that have toil'd, and wrought, and thought And manners, climates, councils, governments,

with me Myself bot least, but honor'd of them all;

That ever with a frolic welcome took
And drunk delight of battle with my peers, The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed
Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy.

Free hearts, free foreheads--you and I are old; 'I am a part of all that I have met ;)

Old age bath.yet his honor and his toil; Yet all experience is an arch wherethro'

Death closes all: but something ere the end, Gleams that untravell’d world, whose margin fades Some work of noble note, may yet be done, » Forever and forever when I move.,

Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods. How dull it is to pause, to make an end,

The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks : To rust unburnish'd, not to shine in use!

The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the As tho’ to breathe were life. Life piled on life

deep Were all too little, and of one to me

Moans round with many voices. Come, my friend, Little remains : but every hour is saved

'T is not too late to seek a newer world. From that eternal silence, something more,

Push off, and sitting well in order smite
A bringer of new things; and vile it were

The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
For some three suns to store and hoard myself, · To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
And this gray spirit yearning in desire

Of all the western stars, until I die.
To follow knowledge, like a sinking star,

It may be that the gulfs will wash us down: Beyond the utmost bound of human thought. It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles, This is my son, mine own Telemachus,

And see the great Achilles, whom we knew. To whom I leave the sceptre and the isle

Tho' much is taken, much abides ; and tho' Well-loved of me, discerning to fulfil

We are not now that strength which in old days This labor, by slow prudence to make mild

Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we A rugged people, and thro' soft degrees

are ; Subdue them to the useful and the good.

One equal temper, of heroic hearts, Most blameless is he, centred in the sphere Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will Of common duties, decent not to fail

To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

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